Twin Cities awarded $16M to fund housing near transit linesby Dan Olson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The Twin Cities will receive $16 million from a new loan and grant fund targeted, in part, to spur housing development along transit lines.
The St. Paul Foundation will manage the loan and grant fund, which comes from 22 foundations and private-sector donors.
Mike Christensen, Minneapolis director of community planning and economic development, said the money will help cities clean up polluted sites. Christensen said Minneapolis' experience subsidizing polluted land cleanup along the river front has paid off.
"If, in fact, you take old rail lines old storage bins, old petroleum uses and clean them up so people can live in those lands ... you get a central riverfront with a tax base of nearly a billion dollars now," Christensen said, referring to the area near the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.
In St. Paul, the money will be used to encourage private sector developers to build housing for young and low-income workers, said Nancy Homans, policy director for the St. Paul mayor's office.
"Sometimes the market doesn't respond as well to those folks, and so we're trying to make sure there's a place and a plan so those folks' lives are improved by the transit investment in real ways," Homans said.
The Twin Cities metro area is one of five areas in the country to win the money.